Gourmet Live, which the company said will be made available for free, is slated to be released in the fourth quarter of this year. The application will largely draw from the magazine’s staggering collection of recipes, food essays and photographs but will also include some new content.
But simply repackaging decades of classic content might not be enough to resonate with millions of avid home cooks who are now used to interacting with others by sharing and commenting on recipes online.
To remedy that, Conde Nast partnered with, a New York-based consulting firm helmed by the media and technology veterans Anil Dash and Michael Wolf, to develop Gourmet Live.
“It’s not a magazine and its not a digital version of a magazine,” said Chuck Townsend, chief executive of Conde Nast. “It’s a whole new way to engage with consumers.”
As a result, new application will also allow users to share articles to social sites like Facebook and Twitter, tag articles as favorites and see which articles are more popular among their friends. In addition, Gourmet Live will incorporate a real-time game engine, not unlike the model popularized by the mobile application Foursquare, that will unlock new content, both free and for a small fee, for readers as they navigate through the application. Eventually, the application could also expand to include features like user-reviews of restaurants and recommendations.
Free! Hmm. There is a key sentence in those paragraphs – “It’s not a magazine, and its not a digital version of a magazine“. I wonder if this isn’t just an attempt to milk the brand at the expense of content. User reviews, Foursquare… sounds a lot like Yelp to me. Time will tell.
Later in the article, they mention the first digital issue of Wired magazine which costs $4.99, has sold over 90,000 copies, without cannibalizing news stand sales. The question is, did it sell because of the novelty, or will people keep buying it.
On the other hand, their Epicurious application is really quite nice- and also free.
Update: from the had to say via Twitter this morning: “Thanks Tweeps, you’ve really made my day, week, month with all your support. Re: Gourmet; they’re reviving the brand, not the magazine. Pity.” We’ll leave it at that. Finally, the gushing PR YouTube Video (complete with the wrong person reading it)., “What Ruth Reichl, who reportedly isn’t involved in the project,